As far as I am concerned, everyone wears a mask. It is just the way we cope in the world. I have read so many articles in the last few months from those who have autism about wanting to tear off their mask and become their “real” selves. If everybody did that, the world would become totally unhinged and chaos would likely become the norm. Let’s face it, society demands some conformance from everyone. Yes, I agree that some of us have more restrictive masks than others. But, how could any society exist if everyone did only what they wanted? Only what they thought was their true nature?
Personally, I have become very used to living in two somewhat foreign worlds, The hearing world and the neurotypical (NT) world require me to put on masks. How I cope is to wear the appropriate mask for each situation encountered. Often, I am not even aware anymore that I am wearing a mask. It is just the way I manage to live in worlds that are not very accommodating to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I pull off my masks occasionally and demand that the world understand how much effort I am making to just fit in. By doing that, I am not asking for pity or necessarily much accommodation, but instead, just understanding.
I come back to one of my primary mantras in life.
There are no two people on this earth who are the same. In some ways, everyone is masking. Somehow we do need to understand our differences and to coexist with each other. Masking, when necessary is one of those ways.
I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be nice to just be who I am. I pretty much do that here on RJsCorner. What you see is what I am. If you don’t like it, or are not open to some different viewpoints, then you will naturally go someplace else. That’s just the way the world spins. One of the ways that I could accomplish taking off a difficult mask is to abandon the hearing world and live almost totally in a Deaf community. The recent Oscar winning movie CODA (children of deaf adults) gives you a glimpse of that world. But, I choose a different path.
Let’s close out this rather rambling post about unmasking all at once. It seems that everyone now wants the world to conform to them, instead of having to conform to it. That is a very noble goal, that, I hope, will someday, somehow, happen. But trying to accomplish it all at once is scaring the heebie-jeebies out of too many people. They are panicked at the idea that everything is falling apart in their world!
Let’s all stop and take a deep breath and realize that utopia can’t be accomplished in a single day or even, in some cases, a single lifetime. Many of us struggle getting along with the world, but it is just something we need to do.